By ann summers
WaPo’s editorial board now uses the explicit term, “Putin’s Puppet”, to identify Donald Trump, and there is some MSM spin that claims a false equivalence between WikiLeaks and a FOIA, considering some clear technical errors in some of their documents such as missing headers and perhaps some editing by non-sources/hackers.
Wikileaks is no Blockchain, even if it has become a political-economic commodity with questionable archive practices. So far, the release of information has certain frames and timing questions, such as the releases coordinated with some pro-Trump, anti-Clinton agents.
“Some hackers say”…
… Once again, the GOP nominee played the part of Vladimir Putin’s lawyer. “She doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking,” he said of Ms. Clinton. “Maybe there is no hacking.”
Mr. Trump is receiving classified intelligence briefings, so he is certainly aware of the evidence that hackers backed by Moscow have stolen email and other records from the DNC and tried to penetrate state electoral systems. So why does he deny it? Mr. Trump’s advocacy on behalf of an aggressive U.S. rival, and the opaqueness of his motivation, is one of the most troubling aspects of his thoroughly toxic campaign.
Experts differ on whether the Putin regime is trying to tip the election to Mr. Trump, as Ms. Clinton suggested, or merely to sow confusion and distrust about the integrity of U.S. democracy. But the leaks traced to Russia through the WikiLeaks website have been aimed at Ms. Clinton — most recently emails from her campaign chairman revealing excerpts from her private speeches on Wall Street. The timing of the WikiLeaks releases, clearly calculated to do maximum damage to the Democrats, confirms (again) that the website is not a crusader for transparency, but a willing political agent of the Kremlin.
Perhaps Mr. Trump knows nothing about all this, as he protested. But he has defended Mr. Putin and his crimes throughout his campaign. He brushed off the fact that journalists and other opponents of the Russian ruler have been murdered and claimed Russia had not invaded Ukraine. He has repeatedly called Mr. Putin a better leader than President Obama.
IF WANTING TO RESTART A DIALOGUE, WHY WOULD RUSSIA TAKE AN OFFENSIVE ACTION THAT SHOULD SOONER LEAD TO FURTHER ALIENATION THAN RECONCILIATION?
Because not only is that the only “rational” option Russia perceives itself to have, but it is what Russia has consistently done vis-à-vis the United States since the onset of sanctions. Leaving clumsy clues is from the same playbook as “accidentally” broadcasting the plans for a secret nuclear device, and is in many ways similar to Russian strategy in Ukraine and Syria. By inserting itself into developing situations, Russia forces its inclusion in the debate around the resolution of those situations. Furthermore, as many others have noted, the leaks have a tit-for-tat quality. Putin singled out Hillary Clinton for meddling in the 2011–12 Russian elections and causing major popular disruptions. The relative limitations of the target suggest that the attack was made as a calculated response, rather than as an aggressive and escalatory one. Its aim was not to inflict damage, but to remind the United States that ignoring Russia won’t make it go away.
One obvious, but perhaps inadequately reflected upon, aspect of Russia’s isolation is that it is cut off from dialogues about critical security issues. These are issues that must sooner or later be either addressed or exploited. Intolerable threats like the newly installed anti–ballistic missile shield will be dealt with in one way or another—if not by bilateral arms control agreements, then by such means as the Status-6.
America has had “secret police” agencies and rationalized their existence during wartime or even during “states of emergency” with their historical abuses. Police agencies have had an “intelligence unit” or Red Squad since the late 19th. Century.
Fear of non-domestic terror has been used to rationalize the funding of police agencies as capital crimes have decreased and domestic extremism increased with asymmetric enforcement disproportionate and inverse relative to race and class.
“We’re being hacked because we have people that don’t know what they’re doing,” Trump said. “But they always blame Russia. And then they say, ‘Donald Trump is friends with Putin.’ I don’t know Putin, folks. I promise I don’t know Putin. What the hell do I have to do with Putin?”
…and if that weren’t enough, in terms of the nuclear button you don’t know where that finger’s been.